Karen Kemp



+64 9 920 6466

+64 27 209 0775


Karen specialises in commercial litigation, advising clients on a wide range of disputes and risk management.

She has extensive experience acting for national and international clients in corporate disputes, construction risk management and project litigation, debt collection and issues relating to regulatory compliance.

Karen uses her experience to provide strategic advice to get the best result for the client. She is an expert in a wide range of construction contract claims under NZ Standard Forms and NEC contracts, acting for all manner of construction clients – contractors, principals, subcontractors – as well as companies and individuals in general litigation.

She has acted on several complex construction adjudications and arbitrations, appeared as counsel in the High Court, District Court and Tribunals, as well as advising clients on complex investigations by the Department of Internal Affairs or acting in judicial review proceedings.

Key Transactions

Acted for:

  • An Australian client in relation to dispute under Heads of Agreement and shareholder entitlements.
  • Clients in a range of commercial contractual disputes, including debt recovery.
  • And advising businesses on various contractual claims, product liability, FTA and supply terms.
  • Auckland International Airport Limited on project claims and disputes.
  • Contractor in PPP dispute on issues relating to extension events and design scope.


  • An international off-shore bank in relation to shareholder claim and loan default.
  • Arrow International (NZ) Ltd on all aspects of construction contracts, including risk management and claims.
  • Developer of significant residential project in Auckland, on Council consenting and MBIE determination.


  • With Southbase Construction in relation to contract administration and claims.


  • Asia Pacific Legal 500, Recommended Lawyer, 2017-2021


Bachelor of Arts, (Hons), University of Cambridge

Master of Arts, University of Cambridge

Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, UK

Admission to the Bar

England and Wales, 1994

New Zealand, 1998

Professional Memberships

Infrastructure New Zealand, Member

Women in Infrastructure Network New Zealand, National Advisory Board

National Association of Women in Construction, Member

Society of Construction Law